Norman Straker was born August 12, 1900, at Southshields, County Durham, England. His parents were Joseph and Hannah Straker. He received his education at Southshields, England, (Standard IV) and emigrated to Canada in 1910. On January 25, 1933, he married Hazel Jane Fee at Wishart, Saskatchewan. They have five children: Walter (December 1933), Bernard (December 1935), Bernice (December 1937), Kathleen (1944), and Darlene (1948).
Norman farmed at Wishart for 42 years. He bought his parents' homestead. From 1955-59, he was engaged in construction at Punnichy, Lipton, Regina, and Elfross. The Strakers moved to the campus of Western Christian College in 1959.
During the first year on campus, Mr. Straker was cook and kitchen supervisor. Since 1960, Mr. Straker has been plumber, painter, carpenter, steam-boiler engineer (12 years), skating rink ice maker (nine years), assistant student centre and canteen supervisor (six years), and campus gardener for many years until he retired in 1977.
Norman Straker will probably be remembered best at the college for his beautification of the campus with the planting of lawn grass and flowers. His green house on campus often has had as many as 4,500 plants.
After his retirement from the college, he was employed by the provincial government as caretaker for the waterworks at North Weyburn (1977-82).
Norman Straker served in many facets of community life at Wishart. He was chairman of the Round Hill School Board (10 years), chief organizer for Larisa School and chairman of its board (six years), director of Round Main Telephone Company, charter member of the Wheat Pool (1924), and a director of the Touchwood Agricultural Society (10 years) and its president (two years). For many years, he was secretary of the Perryville Church of Christ and an elder of the church during the last years the family lived there (five to six years). At Perryville, he taught Bible classes and was the song leader.
Norman Straker's interest in community affairs transferred to the Weyburn community. Here he has been a member of the Stamp Club, the Weyburn Horticultural Society, and the Senior Citizen's Band.
For 25 years, he has visited and entertained at the Souris Valley Regional Care Centre (formerly the Saskatchewan Hospital) and has received a Certificate of Merit each year. He has been awarded 1,000 hour pins many times and one year even a 3,200 hour pin. In 1985, Norman Straker received a Certificate of Recognition from the city of Weyburn for service to the community "and for a significant contribution to the quality of life in the City of Weyburn."
All five of the Straker children have attended Western Christian College and both Walter and Bernard have been chosen Alumnus of the Year.
Norman Straker served as deacon of the Weyburn church (1969-85). During his years here, he has entertained church groups, college students, and alumni groups with his accordion and bones.